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China suffered a big drop in its influence in Asia

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China suffered a big drop in its influence in Asia

China suffered a big drop in its influence in Asia over the past year, with the fallout from Covid lockdowns being largely blamed, according to a new report.

The Lowy Institute released its latest Asia Power Index, which revealed that the US has cemented its status as the most powerful nation in the region, after China’s tough border closures and lockdown rules saw it lose influence, said the report on leading Australian news site,

The report also found that China’s economic strength in the region fell to its lowest level since 2018, with some experts warning its bounce back is looking murky.

China is only now emerging from tough zero-Covid policies that sharply curtailed its global and regional connectivity as the world’s second biggest economy, the report found.

It saw the economy grow at its second slowest rate in almost 50 years.

“China’s regional advantage has always been its proximity and degree of connection with other countries in Asia,” Lowy Institute’s Susannah Patton told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“But on all the indicators we looked at – flight connections, the flow of tourists, the flow of international students, the flow of businesspeople, the flow of capital – China really suffered during the pandemic.”

Now, Communist Party officials are looking to reboot the country’s battered economy with a senior party official making a chilling threat to people who would consider making life tough for businesses.

“Whoever causes trouble for enterprises, the county party committee and the county government will have trouble for them,” warned Sun Qianguo, as reported in The Australian.

It has been a sudden turnaround for the Asian superpower as its government scrapped its zero-Covid policy to open up the country.

This has seen one billion people infected with Covid in just six weeks, while experts believe it has resulted in one million deaths as well.

However, the reopening has offered glimmers of hope, with the International Monetary Fund upgrading its forecast for China’s growth this year to 5.2 per cent, up from 4.4 per cent.

Even China’s battered real estate sector is firing up, meaning iron ore demand – a huge money-making commodity for Australia – is back on the rise.

In 2023, the list from the Lowy Institute named the top 10 countries for overall power as the US, China, Japan, India, Russia, Australia, South Korea, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand. (SAT)